President Donald Trump declined to directly answer Wednesday whether he would fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during a planned meeting Thursday.
“I would certainly prefer not doing that,” Trump said during a news conference in New York. “My preference would be to keep him and let him finish up.”
Reports surfaced Monday that Rosenstein was worried about being fired after the New York Times reported last week that Rosenstein had in meetings suggested having DOJ officials wear wires for their conversations with the president and also raised the 25th Amendment, which outlines the process a vice president or Cabinet members can take to remove a president from office.
Rosenstein denied the Times’ accounting of events.
“He said he did not say it, he says he did not believe that, and nobody in this room believes it,” Trump said, adding that people have told him he has the right to fire Rosenstein but he’d prefer to keep him.
Trump also revealed he may call Rosenstein tonight or tomorrow to delay the meeting, saying “I don’t want to do anything that gets in the way” of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing featuring testimony from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused the judge of sexually assaulting her during a party in high school.
“I don’t want it competing or hurting the decision, one way or another.”